इंडियन आवाज़     21 May 2024 03:57:33      انڈین آواز

CM Yogi Visits Taj Mahal, vows to protect monument

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AMN / Agra

In a rare gesture Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Thursday visited the magnificent monument of Mughal era, the Taj Mahal and promised to protect and conserve the memorial which some of his party men had dub as a “blot” on Indian culture.

He was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi and cabinet Minister S.P. Singh Baghel.

CM walked to the main mausoleum to look at the tombs of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Jehan, in whose memory the 17th century marble monument was built.

After his arrival, Adityanath first launched a cleanliness drive on the western gate of the Taj, India’s most popular tourist draw.

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In the Taj, Adityanath went to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) office and saw a slide show about the historical and cultural details of the monuments in Agra and the steps taken to conserve them.

He also went to the Yamuna side of the monument and spoke to officials about the river, its cleanliness and the proposed beautification of the area.

Some tourists, including a foreigner, sought a selfie with the Chief Minister, who readily obliged.

The Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for a World Bank-aided pro-poor tourism development project at the Taj Mahal, under which the Shah Jahan park would be rejuvenated and a walking track is to be developed between Agra Fort and Taj Mahal.

Earlier, he announced construction of a rubber check dam over the Yamuna and laid foundation stones of projects worth Rs 22 crore at Kachpura area.

Adityanath said his government was committed to conserve the rich cultural and historical identity of Agra.

He also announced a special skill development programme so that youths benefit from the tourism industry.

According to him, under the Gangajal project, the flow of drains into the Yamuna river would be checked and a sewage treatment plant (STP) would be built.

When Adityanath reached the Taj in the morning, BJP activists shouted slogans hailing him and also ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

His visit comes in the backdrop of statements by BJP leaders that the Taj, one of the wonders of the world, was a blot on Indian culture and history.

The statements triggered a backlash from many quarters, forcing the Bharatiya Janata Party to distance itself from the comments.

Later, the Chief Minister announced he would visit the Taj and that the monument had been built by the sweat and blood of Indian labourers.

Journalists who went to cover Adityanath’s visit had to go through a lot of trouble as their cars and OB vans were stopped far from the venue of engagements.

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